IRC FEMALE-LATRINES-CHALLENGE WINNERS
This challenge was the first open-innovation project for the International Rescue Committee ("IRC") in which SeaFreight Labs served as Project Advisor. The challenge launched to the public on 14 June 2023 and closed to new submissions on 1 August 2023. It was presented as an ideation challenge with prize money of US$30,000 which was broken down into US$10,000 for ideas for better lighting, US$10,000 for ideas for better locking and US$10,000 for ideas for better alerting. It attracted 220 registered solvers from 60 different countries. They submitted 114 proposals. A group of IRC staff conducted 3 rounds of evaluation to select 7 winning solutions. The winners were publicly announced on 11 January 2024. Click HERE to read the IRC press release announcing the winners.
In refugee camps around the world, toilets are often unlighted and without proper safety measures. For women and girls who rely on them, broken locks and a lack of light bring danger and discomfort - especially at night. To increase toilet usage, comfort and safety among female refugees, the IRC was looking for ideas that can provide users with toilet facilities that feature automatic, dimmable lighting and lockable tamper-proof security. In particular, the IRC was looking for ideas around three key categories of a long-term solution:
Lighting: automatic and dimmable lighting, irremovable and powered by renewable energy
Locking: methods to lock and provide secure, tamper-proof cubicles that offer privacy and comfort
Alerting: systems for alerting when toilet is in use and when in need of maintenance
The solution could cost no more than US$20 to achieve all three categories and significantly less if it focused on one category only.
This was an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution. The detailed problem statement is available HERE.
Uniqueness of This Challenge
This was the first humanitarian challenge initiated by the IRC and it was the first since 2021 where SeaFreight Labs served as Project Advisor. Read a case study of the challenge HERE.
This challenge attracted an incredibly global crowd of solvers and an impressively creative set of solutions. Read about both HERE.
Prize money was allocated across the three categories as follows.
Lighting Winners ($13,500 of prizes)
“Glowlight Roof” – US$3,000. By Michael van der Bent of the Netherlands. You can read the submission HERE.
“Strontium Aluminate Based Non-Electric Light Module For Roof Installation” – US$3,000. By Frederic Kreutzer of Germany. You can read the submission HERE.
“Solution to Safe and Desirable Female Toilets in Refugee Camps” – US$2,500. By Dornean Radu of Romania. You can read the submission HERE. A profile of the solver is available HERE. Please note that only the lighting category of this submission was a winner.
Locking Winner ($8,000 of prizes)
Alerting Winner ($10,000 of prizes)